Upon Reflection, Cleaning a Mirror May Be Trickier than It Appears

by Team HomeServe
cleaning bathroom mirror

Knowing how to clean mirrors quickly and thoroughly is an underrated life skill. Whether you're shaving, applying makeup, styling your hair or accessorizing the outfit du jour, there's nothing worse than a dirty mirror. Dodging toothpaste blobs on the bathroom vanity or peering through layers of dust and fingerprints on the bedroom mirror can be annoying — and sometimes those stubborn blotches don't wipe right off with a hastily grabbed tissue.

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Dirty, streaky mirrors cast a dingy pall on the entire room, and they can hamper your ability to achieve the most flattering look when you're trying to dress or groom. Discover how to clean a mirror to sparkling perfection with the right materials and methods — maybe even using a few items you already have at home.

What's the Best Way to Clean a Mirror?

No one wants to spend more than a minute or two on mirror maintenance. This should be one of the easiest chores on your weekly to-do list. By familiarizing yourself with the appropriate products and practices, you can knock the job out quickly and get on with your busy day.

Step 1: Choose Your Glass Cleaner

The best mirror cleaner is free of soap, fragrance and unnecessary additives. Many people prefer a simple, natural solution, while others stick to commercial ammonia-based cleaners from brands such as Windex. You can find additional suggestions on how to clean mirrors using common household products below.

Step 2: Select the Best Cloth for the Job

You might be in the habit of grabbing a wad of paper towels or newspaper to wipe down a mirror, but these materials can leave lint and print residue behind. The best way to clean mirrors is with a high-quality microfiber cloth. To ensure streak-free mirrors, choose a thin flat-weave cloth that's less likely to transfer particles to the mirror than a thicker terry cloth rag.

Step 3: Ready, Set, Wipe

Spray your mirror and grab your cloth. Gently clean the mirror by wiping from side to side and then top to bottom. Use a straight — not circular — wiping pattern. This helps prevent the static electricity often caused by circular motions.

4. Perform a Quality-Control Check

Stand back and view your work from various angles and distances to ensure every inch of the mirror is showcasing a spotless finish.

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Say Goodbye to Streaky Mirrors

One of the best cleaning products for preventing mirror streaks is a blend of equal parts white vinegar and distilled water. This budget-friendly mixture is soap-free, thus helping you avoid the cloudy effect often left behind by inexpensive commercial cleaners.

Pour the cleaning solution into a spray bottle, shake vigorously and apply it directly to your lint-free microfiber cloth. Start at the top, and use a zigzag motion as you work your way down the mirror, admiring the streak-free shine as you go.

How to Clean a Mirror With Stubborn Grease Spots

You can tackle mirrors plagued by caked-on oil blobs, armed only with rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad. This spot-clean treatment is especially good for use on bathroom mirrors and in the kitchen, where reflective backsplash surfaces are constantly on the receiving end of grease splatter.

By pretreating the problem areas of the mirror with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol, you'll avoid spreading the oily residue and making an even bigger mess when you wipe down the entire surface.

Yes, You Can Clean a Mirror With Water

Cost-effective, readily available and safe for kids and pets, tap water makes a great mirror cleaner, provided you're not dealing with a lot of the greasy or hardened spots mentioned above. Grab two microfiber glass cleaning cloths, and follow these simple steps:

  • Fully wet your rag with warm water.
  • Squeeze out the excess water.
  • Wipe the mirror with the wet cloth.
  • Dry it thoroughly with the second cloth.

Keeping your home's mirrors clean helps reflect natural light to create a brighter, uplifting environment. It also gives you the confidence of knowing you always look your best.